So you’re looking for a non-traditional study abroad program that includes both outdoor activities and environmental studies? New Zealand is the right destination for you.
Interesting Fact: It may come as a surprise to find that the country only has eight universities spread throughout the two islands. However, before you move to this attractive and less-traveled study abroad location, here are things you should know about New Zealand.
• You need to pack for chilly weather: The first thing you should know about New Zealand is that you can frequently get a taste of all four seasons in a single day. Pack sweaters, a rain jacket, and layered everyday wear when packing for your trip. Expect weather that fluctuates from the 50s to the low 70s throughout the year, with the possibility of occasional rain, due to its location in one of the world’s most mountainous locations. New Zealand weather is also colder in the south than in the north, with June and August being the coldest months of the year. Keep in mind that the higher the height, the colder the temperature, so dress warmly for your treks and outdoor activities outside of the city borders.
• Getting a Māori tattoo might be offensive: Some people make scrapbooks, while others get tattoos in foreign countries. Whatever kind of art you pick, keep in mind that your activities might contribute to cultural appropriation. Tattooing is a rite of passage and an honor in Mori culture in New Zealand. Individuals with tattoos (known as “moko”) are regarded as knowledgeable about the tribe’s customs, ceremonies, and language, thus Westerners who acquire these tattoos are basically abusing the roots of the tattoos.
• In New Zealand, there are just eight universities: Given its size, it may come as a surprise to find that the country only has eight universities spread throughout the two islands. Students can attend Auckland University of Technology, University of Auckland, Massey University, University of Otago, or Victoria University of Wellington if they want to experience a “state university” atmosphere comparable to that of the Big 10 in the United States. The student population at these universities ranges from 17,000 to 33,000. Students interested in a more private university experience might select Lincoln University, University of Waikato, or University of Canterbury, which have enrolments ranging from 3,000 to 12,000 students.
• The cities are bustling: Wellington, New Zealand’s capital, is the world’s southernmost capital. The Parliament and the Supreme Court, as well as numerous large companies, universities, and cultural centres like museums, theatres, ballets, and libraries, are all located here. The largest city in New Zealand is Auckland, which is located on the North Island. Auckland is also home to the world’s largest Polynesian community. Auckland, a metropolis of two ports and highland rainforests, is rated one of the world’s most liveable cities in the Economist’s World’s Most Liveable Cities index from 2015.
• You can enjoy New Zealand without breaking the bank: A meal should cost less than $15 on average, and many programs provide meals with host families. A day hike in a national park, as well as camping, can occasionally be expensive, although unless otherwise specified, a day hike in a national park is typically free. Cities are pricey no matter where you go, but Auckland and Wellington boast a variety of free cultural events, festivals, and frequently discounted student museum admission costs.
• Get ready BBQ lovers: Are you a lover of grilling over an open fire? Then you’ll enjoy New Zealand food! New Zealand food is nutritious, organic, and delicious, with fresh veggies and local farm-to-table beef. For rare occasions such as festivals and other cultural events, Kiwis will occasionally revert to their Mori origins by cooking traditional hngi practices, which entail digging a hole in the ground, heating stones, and slowly cooking things directly over an open fire. It’s completely safe and gives the dish an additional scorched taste.
• You’ll need to know proper tipping etiquette: Make sure your credit card provider and bank know you’ll be in New Zealand before you leave (as you should with any international trip). However, certain cards, particularly those containing chips, will not require this. If you’re a Bank of America client, know that Westpac, a New Zealand bank, enables you to withdraw cash for free at Westpac ATMs. About tipping? It is not required or anticipated in the service sector because most workers receive a decent income. Many people in tiny communities around the country rely on tourism for a living, thus tipping is still a possibility in certain situations.
• You can study abroad in New Zealand at any time: No matter when you want to study abroad in New Zealand, it’s a perfect time. Summer, semester, and full-year exchange programs, as well as short-term multi-country travel and study opportunities, are all available.
You may learn about the country’s history, indigenous language, environment, and local social and political concerns while taking lessons alongside local students. Students can also live with a host family to get further engaged in Kiwi culture, and college students can dorm with other New Zealand students. If you wish to stay for a while after your semester is up, you can apply for a working holiday visa in either New Zealand or Australia and work for up to a year.
Start packing for your intensive adventure now that you’ve received the idea of everything you need to know about studying abroad in New Zealand! Remember to leave comments and questions.